Apply for this licence

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Contact your council for a licence if you want to run a sex shop in Scotland.

You will need a licence if your business sells clothing, pornography and other adult sexual or erotic items.


You must:

  • be over 18
  • ensure that no one under 18 works at or visits your premises
  • follow any conditions of your licence, eg opening hours, shop displays, advertisements and how visible the interior of your shop is from outside

How to apply

Apply to the council in the area your business will operate.

Your application must include:

  • your personal details (including any criminal convictions)
  • an application fee
  • any relevant supporting documents

Once you’ve applied, you must:

  • publish an advert about your application in a local newspaper
  • display a notice about your application in or near your premises for 21 days

After this period you must let the council know that you’ve advertised your application.

You’ll need to renew your licence yearly.

Fines and penalties

You could be fined up to £20,000 if you:

  • don’t have a licence
  • break any of your licence conditions
  • allow anyone under 18 on your premises
  • provide a false statement in your application

You could be fined up to £5,000 if you don’t tell the council of any relevant changes to your business or premises.

You could be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t:

  • display your licence
  • surrender your licence if requested
  • let the council inspect your premises

As well as a fine, your licence could also be revoked.